From Buffalo's famous Anchor Bar where Buffalo Wings were born, to NYC's adventurous Underground, New York State dining is all over the map. Every town has hot spots where signature dishes claim top honors, and LGBT ‘in spots' where the vibe is relaxed and inviting no matter what your taste.
A yummy cruise of upstate New York might include a Finger Lakes wine trail tour up and down the state's finest vineyards along lakes Cayuga and Seneca. Discover your next favorite spot along the Thousand Islands' St. Lawrence Seaway where the day's catch practically hops from hook to plate. Explore family-owned Hudson Valley bistros or taste-test Central New York's brick oven pizzas. In New York City just about every block is famous for its food, and Long Island's chowders will ruin you for anything less.
New York State's hospitality is as piping hot as its cuisine. From bustling cities like Rochester to fun towns like Ithaca and Hudson, communities across the state thrive with LGBT-friendly restaurants, clubs and bistros, and some of the best dining is a quick exit off the highway.
Buffalo locals will point you to standbys like Betty's, Syracuse loves Sparky Town and Binghamton's funky Lost Dog Cafe & Lounge tempts with mimosa brunches and a tapas menu.
More and more couples are heading to Hammondsport, an artsy town in the heart of Finger Lakes wine country that's part Soho and part Norman Rockwell. Cozy stopovers like The Black Sheep Inn beckon same-sex couples with open arms and fabulous dining. Wine tasting around Keuka Lake vineyards can inspire an afternoon outing with friends or a romantic moment by the water with a glass of award-winning Riesling.
Likewise, the small town of Sharon Springs has been put in the spotlight by reality-TV stars The Fabulous Beekman Boys, and local dining at The American Hotel provides LGBT visitors with inviting cuisine.
Rochester is home to a flourishing LGBT community. Downtown's Park Avenue corridor offers chic dining and entertainment up and down the strip, while the Rochester Public Market - recently voted the best in the nation -- features gorgeous produce and inexpensive eateries. Boulder Coffee and Equal=Grounds are popular coffee houses, Jines Restaurant is a favorite among locals and Edibles is a hip urban eatery in the trendy Atlantic-University neighborhood, that proudly participated in the LGBT DinesOUT event.
Ithaca has been named a Top 10 New York town for LGBT people, with its fabulous arts scene, great food and empty-closet vibe. There are tons of welcoming restaurants to choose from, from Maxie Supper Club and Oyster Bar, to Just a Taste Wine and Tapas Bar, to the Purity Ice Cream Company.
The Catskills still hold magic for couples seeking a great escape and five-star dining. Follow the aromas of Greek, Japanese, Korean and Italian cooking from Barryville to Wurtsboro.
In the Hudson Valley, you can do more than just eat - you can have a culinary experience. Besides dining in one of its many restaurants, you can attend a course and take a tour at the famed Culinary Institute of America. For great farm-to-table dining, you can visit the Blue Hill Restaurant at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, along with taking a tour the gardens and greenhouse.
In charming Hudson, you can end a day of antique hunting with creative and flavorful dining experiences - often maximizing fresh local ingredients, ranging from BBQ, Mexican, fine Italian and even "new Scandinavian," as well as the self dubbed "socially accepting" Red Dot.
Much of Albany's LGBT socializing happens along cobblestoned Lark Street where hot spots serve up Tex-Mex, Greek, Thai, Indian, Hunan, Italian and Japanese savories. Jack's Oyster House is celebrating 100 years of serving everyone from Albany's hob knobbing politicians to romance-seeking couples; the beers of local craft brewer CH Evans Brewing are offered at the Albany Pump Station brew pub and right next store, the Albany Distilling Company offers tours and tastings.
Saratoga Springs' downtown is lined with eateries from hip to swank. You'll want to hit Hattie's, a long-time soul food restaurant, the whimsical Circus Café or legendary coffeehouse Cafe Lena.
New York City needs no menu. If it's tasty you'll find it, from simple soul food at the Pink Teacup to slathered baby backs and frozen Margaritas at the West Village's Bone Lick Park.
Hip Chelsea eateries like Elmo with its ‘60s lounge vibe and Cafeteria are the place to dine and be seen. For comfort food try The Dish, where fresh salads share the menu with guilty diner favorites.
Ready for a real foodie adventure? Book a private ten-course tasting at Underground Eats, then hop over to Long Island's north fork with its picturesque wineries, the north shore and Fire Island partying.
Albany Distilling Company
Albany Pump Station
Brookview Station Winery
CH Evans Brewing
Jack's Oyster House
Pride Center of the Capital Region
Saratoga Springs, NY
Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery
Beauvine Chop House & Wine Bar
Black Sheep Inn
Brew & Brats restaurant
Ithaca Gay Alliance
Just a Taste Wine and Tapas Bar
Maxie Supper Club and Oyster Bar
Oak & Vine
Purity Ice Cream Company
Rochester Public Market